Practical Tools for Transforming Yourself and the World

Eco-Gap at EcoVillage Ithaca offers programs for young adults to explore possibilities for leading a life of passion and commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. Read below for more details.


Eco-Gap Programs give you a chance to become part of daily life at EcoVillage Ithaca, one of the largest and most successful ecovillages in the United States.

Two Program Options:

An independent internship program
(flexible dates April – August, 2019)

An 8 week long structured program with a group of up to 8 participants
(September 8th – November 1st, 2019)

You will experience first-hand what it means to live in a community with a strong connection to the environment and where social relationships and equality are among the most important aspects of life.  The village will be your classroom.  You’ll live, cook and eat most of your meals there,  and spend time indoors and outdoors learning about dimensions of community life that are centered around the concept of leaving the world a better place than we found it.

Benefits of Taking a Gap Year

“The EcoVillage was honestly life-changing. I feel so much more open, confident, and peaceful as a person. I would love to live there one day.”

Our programs are for you if:

  • You would you like to live in greater harmony with the natural world and with respect and equality for all people.
  • You are a young adult (17+) and are taking some time to find out more about the world and discover your interests.
  • You are wondering how you can apply your interests to work for positive change in the world.
  • You are interested in living a healthy life.
  • You are curious about ecovillages.
  • You enjoy the company of others and learning from other people.

Having fun on a summer day at the EcoVillage pond.

EcoVillage Ithaca (EVI) is part of a global movement of people seeking to create positive solutions to the social, environmental and economic crises impacting our planet. 

There are 220 people living together in 100 homes just outside the thriving small city of Ithaca, NY.  Since 1991 the mission of EVI has been to promote experiential learning about ways of meeting human needs for shelter, food, energy, livelihood and social connection that are aligned with the long-term health and viability of Earth and all its inhabitants.  LEARN@EcoVillage, the educational branch of EVI, has been offering educational programs for people of all ages for over two decades to share this lived learning experience.

Come live and learn with us!

Beautiful Taughannock Falls, just a few miles from the EcoVillage, in the fall season.

“Thank you for this incredible experience. It has made me hopeful for the future!”

You will:

  • Live your days with a focus on the health and well-being of your body, mind, and spirit

  • Plan meals, cook and eat locally harvested foods in community

  • Spend time outdoors, including helping out on the ecovillage farms

  • Contribute to green building projects in the community such as garden sheds and solar ovens

  • Consider and discuss the challenges that arise when people live together as part of an intentional community

  • Explore the Ithaca area, with its thriving culture of eco-conscious living, its many waterfalls and parks, and tour Cornell University and Ithaca College

Planting trees with friendly dogs!

“This was a great experience.  It opened me up more to other people and my surroundings. Spending time at the EcoVillage allowed me to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life!”

You can also expect:

  • To have fun and make new friends as you work and create projects together

  • To contribute your skills and interests to co-create a meaningful program for yourself and others

  • To negotiate tough issues related to how to create a good life for all on our planet, including yourself

  • To find your own voice as you communicate with others in a way that is inclusive and productive

  • To think and feel deeply as you consider issues that are important to you and your future

  • To hone in on your interests and find value in your unique skills

  • To find techniques to manage and balance the many demands that life presents us

  • To develop leadership skills and a vision for how to move forward with a life of purpose

A cozy moment of reflection in one of the Common Room areas.

At the end of your time, you will have a deeply expanded sense of what it means to live in a community of people dedicated to a vision of justice and sustainability, to recognize your unique qualities and talents and how to use them to work for positive change in a complex world.

READY TO LEARN MORE? (Click on the links below.)



Note: Eco-Gap is a program of LEARN@EcoVillage Ithaca.